Apple Executives Respond to Decline of Software Quality, Want to Guess the Response?


Apple has recently been come under fire for the declining quality of their own software. Long time Apple fans have, recently been very public about their dissatisfaction with Apple’s own software offerings. Walt Mossberg has recently made his complaints about Apple’s core apps very public. Even BGR which generally comes across as an Apple advertising partner even ran a headline of “What Apple fans hate most about Apple right now”,  the funny thing is, if you look at the link, it appears the original title was “Why is Apple’s software so bad”. I wonder what blogger Brad Reed was really trying to say?

It’s quite striking to see such long term Apple fans shouting out their anger over such software offering as Apple Mail, iTunes, iCloud, and other core Apple apps. Surely when those that have been promoting the product for years begin to publicly state how bad Apple’s software is, Apple will respond to correct the course right? Not so fast!

Two Apple executives guested on a podcast with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. The execs? Eddy Cue, in charge of software services and Craig Federighi in charge of software engineering. Just the two you would expect to hear plans to fix these complaints. However when asked about the issues, their response was typical Apple. There’s no problem they say.

“I know our core software quality has improved over the past five years but the bar just keeps going up.”

“What this means is, when you have a billion people running phones in every corner of their lives with all these third party apps, with all these countries and all these languages, there are going to be issues, there are always going to be issues, but there are plenty of people who could encounter one, and now it’s amplified,” -Federighi.

And the execs proceeded to talk about usage rates, alluding to the fact that there are so many complaints simply because there are a lot of people using their products.

But there are issues with this argument. The Apple execs have failed to realize that Apple is not the market leader in either mobile nor home computing. There are many more people using competing products as opposed to Apple’s products. I don’t think pointing to a high amount of users should qualify as a reason for having so many recent complaints. I also don’t believe that a company should simply brush off the fact that high profile, long term fans, have suddenly taken to bashing their products quality.

However, this is nothing new for those that follow mobile tech. Perhaps Apple users are simply using the software wrong?

Quotes from Business Insider


BlackBerry Elite Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs and UTB Geek. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.

  • veeru789

    Although I don’t use apple products, I don’t think mail or other native apps have changed over the past three years. So why are they complaining now. This means they’ve been BSing all the while.

  • jrohland

    Maybe the Priv is starting to show them these apps can be better. When [cr]apple was all they knew, they assumed it was best.

  • Anthony

    I am currently using Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 (beta).

    There are bugs but it’s hardly “bad”. OS X is still good.

    With the latest 10.11.4 (beta) upgrade Blend and Link work again. locco_smiley_10

  • SipoKapumba

    Nice read. Thanks Brad.

  • Schmurf

    For argument’s sake, let take them at their word that their software has improved over the past five years. If people are now complaining about their software then a couple things may be going on.

    It could be that while some aspects of the software are better, others are worse so it’s a draw.

    It could be that the software is better but expectations are higher (more compelling shall we say?).

    It could be that software at other companies is getting better faster than theirs is and by comparison, theirs isn’t as good.

    I’d venture that it’s a combination. Form what I’ve heard, things that used to “just work” before, just don’t now. Of course we all do more with our devices, so we kind of expect more miracles to come out of the box. That being said, that expectation is present for all OS manufacturers. Therefore it would seem that some are doing a better job of meeting those expectations than others. Which leads us into the last point. While their software may have improved in some aspects, the competition is eating their software lunch like Ms Pacman chasing ghosts. No matter how they try to slice it, they need to perform or risk losing (even more of) their market.

  • bartron

    Their response doesn’t surprise me at all, and it’s inline with Ive’s response to the iPhone’s short battery life.

    As someone who has worked more than 10 years in software quality assurance, I can pretty much guarantee you that the issues have nothing to do with the number of users, and they have everything to do with weak talent and poor management at Apple.